BUFFALO, NY - Born in Niagara Falls and raised in Buffalo's Old First Ward, Jimmy Collins rose to all-star status on the baseball diamond. He was the player/manager of the Boston Americans (now the Red Sox) who led the team to victory in the first-ever World Series in 1903.
Jimmy was considered the greatest third baseman to play prior to World War 2, and is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. What turned him into a legend is an incident that happened after he died. According to one of Collins' grandsons, at Jimmy's South Buffalo wake, many of his former teammates and players showed up and decided to sit Jimmy up and have one more drink with their old skipper. They apparently drank from the championship cup that Jimmy held within the casket.
The story was relayed at his induction to a member of the Hall of Fame staff. The story was retold to Richard Johnson, the curator of the Boston Sports Museum, who thought it was part of Boston's history as well. He wrote it into a song. The song Jimmy Collins' Wake was recorded by Boston Celtic-Rock band The Dropkick Murphy's.